Many forms of doing: a surprising source for pluralism about agency

Since roughly the middle of the last century, there has been a thriving philosophical debate about the nature of action. What is it that makes us agents rather than patients? What makes us
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Since roughly the middle of the last century, there has been a thriving philosophical debate about the nature of action. What is it that makes us agents rather than patients? What makes us responsible for the things that we do rather than the things that happen to us? And what kinds of capacities do such agents have to have to bear different kinds of responsibility – is it enough just to have desires of which one is aware, or does one have to be able to choose between them, or does one further have to be able to judge those desires by principles anyone could share? The thread that generally holds this discussion together is the idea that whatever the correct answers are to these questions, they are the correct answers for all agents; there is fundamentally only one form of agency. But what if this assumption were wrong, though wrong in an instructive and tractable way? What if there were multiple forms of agency in human life, but not so many that they couldn’t be identified and. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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